This Article Contains The Following:
a. Background
b. Origin
c. Villages
d. Infrastructure 
e. Random
f. Conclusion 

Nri is among the most ancient kingdoms in West Africa (founded around 900AD).The kingdom of `Nri political' became more powerful around 948 until 1911 when the British troops conquered and forced them to end its political power. But the cultures still exists in the south eastern part of Nigeria. Nri had many cultures and great rulers.

Nri clan have more than four towns, but four are more close to each other. By seniority thus;
a. Enugu-Ugwu [The Eldest]
b. Nwaofia (corrupted to Nawfia)
c. Enugu-Agidi
d. Agu-Ukwu [The Last]

                     Map of Igbo Land

Dabawor, the leader of migrants who migrated in their numbers tracing from East Africa via the Middle East to present day Aguleri popularly regarded as Eri married two wives, the first wife, Nneamakụ, bore him seven children which are:

1. Agu-Uru, corrupted to Agulu (Aguleri), First son
2. Me-Nri, second son (founder of Nri)
4. Oba, third son founded Benin Kingdom 
5. Onu-Ugu, the fourth and also the founder of Igbariam
6. Ogbodulu, the founder of Amanuke.
7. Ada-mgbo (a.k.a Iguedo the only daughter of Eri).

All the children of Eri lived together with their father in Aguleri until after the death of Eri when his sons scattered in different places where they are founder of different kingdoms. 

His second wife Oboli begot Ọnọja (bagged title; Attah), the only son who founded the Igala Kingdom in Kogi State.

a. Onoja (Attah) founded Igala kingdom while 

b. Oba moved to and found Benin kingdom.

c. Menri later left Aguleri where he founded Nri kingdom

d. Eri's first son Agulu-eri (Aguleri) remained behind and inherited his father's land and expanded the kingdom. 

Nri was founded by Eri’s second son, Menri. He was amongst his children who left home, he settled in a forest where he engaged in hunting and farming. His descendants and followers grew, Menri still followed in his father’s religion. At his old age, Menri asked to be taken back to his father’s home. He was taken back to Aguleri where he died and was buried.

To this day, his grave is still marked at Okpu, in Ivite Aguleri. There is no other grave site of Menri, the founder of Nri, anywhere else in Igbo land, even in Nri itself, except in Aguleri.

The Nri settlement during the ancient Igbo was a safe abode for slaves who ran away from their captors. If there is anyone considered the savior of the Igbo people it will be Eri. 

Furthermore, Menri possessed the same priestly ordination, and thus spiritual powers of his father Eri, and was appointed as his heir. Eri went on to have four other sons and one daughter. As Nri got older, he left his father to establish a place of his own. This place, named Nri, is currently in Anambra state in Nigeria.

Despite the arguments on the cradle of Igbos between Aguleri and Nri, the tradition holds that no one breaks a kolanut in a gathering but an Aguleri man if he is present. Also, before a king is coronated, he must visit Aguleri for a ritual and to receive blessings for seven days.

Now, after the death of Eri, his first son Agulu (now known as Agulu + Eri, “Aguleri”) took over the land and expanded it and spread to form more communities. Nri heard of his father’s death and he went back to Aguleri, and stayed for a long period so that one of his demands before his death was to be buried in Aguleri.
Prior to his death, he founded a kingdom (Nri Kingdom) which, some say, is a result of his father’s mystical abilities which were passed down to him.

Menri's children by name (not by town) are:
a. Ifikuanim 
b. Namoke 
c. A daughter. Their descendents begots the towns - Enugu-Ugwu, Enugu-Agidi, Nwaofia and Agu-Ukwu.

Article Expansion:
The kingdom of Nri, in the Igbo language called Ọ̀ràézè Ǹrì is a medieval Igbo kingdom that originated around AD900 and presently still in existence, although its influence and territory have significantly waned. It is among the oldest existing monarchy in Nigeria and had its capital at Igbo-Ukwu.

Nigeria has so many precolonial history and kingdoms. Before modern day, Nigeria were divided into many ethnic groups, such as, Yoruba, Nri (Igbo), Benin, Hausa, and Nupe. But one that takes attention the most is the Kingdom of Nri (also known as Igbo). The kingdom of Nri political had been existed since 948 until 1911 when the British troops forced them to end its political power. But the cultures still exists in the south eastern region of Nigeria. Nri had many cultures and great rulers. Kingdom of Nri was located in the west-African region, now is the area of Nigeria country.

The formation of Nri kingdom was back to 9th century by the founder of Nri and Igbo people then became the center of Igbo cultures. After the god-liked founder died, ending of the Eri period, the first king of Nri period, Ìfikuánim, started his reign in 1043. 

The capital city of Nri was Igbo-Ukwu. Its official language was Igbo. The main religion of Nri was Odinani. Odinani aims to comprehend its world (called “Uwa”) and has gods (called “Chukwu”). It had elective monarchy regimen. Nri had Manillas as a currency. Manillas are armlet created from bronze, copper, or sometimes gold.

The Nri kingdom operated a decentralized democratic and highly theocratic system of leadership over Igbo lands. Albeit most Igbo colonies already exercised a type of societal republic as opposed to a feudalistic system that involves a king with absolute or an enormous amount of authority over its subjects.

The leader of Nri is called the “Eze Nri” in the Igbo language which translates to “king of Nri”. He is a priest-king in its truest definition. He is more of a ritualistic father figure with mystic powers but no military authority.

The Ikenga chooses the next Eze Nri. He must be recognized by the public and must not have a father that is still alive. Before being crowned, he must prove that he is also the choice of Chukwu (God), Eri(Founder of Nri), Ndiichie(ancestors) and Alusi(spirits). Diviners do this through their revelations and visions. Each Eze Nri traces his ancestry to Eri and undergoes a ritual reproduction of Eri prior to becoming Eze Nri. 

During the ritual, the Eze Nri Elect is celebrated alive as already dead, and any funeral rite that would have been accorded to him when he truly dies would be performed as part of the coronation process. If he had a wife and children, they would enter into a state of mourning as they would if he was dead. On becoming the Eze Nri, he is no more perceived to be whom he used to be. After this ritual burial, he must then go to Aguleri to obtain a lump of clay from the bottom of the Anambra river; this clay is used to make a ritual pot “Odudu” for the shrine of Nri Menri. Any Eze-Nri must complete all of these rituals and processes before he is finally crowned Eze (king), handed the “Ofo” (spiritual symbol of power) and saluted as Igwe (heavenly one). Upon his death, he is to be buried seated in a wood-lined chamber. After the death of an Eze Nri, there is usually an interregnum period. During this time it is expected that the next Eze is revealed through supernatural signs.

Royal burials have been unearthed by archaeologists that date as far back as the 10th century. Kingdom of Nri was a theocratic state. The eze Nri was a ruler with mystic powers. Eze Nri didn’t have military power, therefore, in the common sense, eze Nri was like a ritual leader rather than a king. On changing of the position, eze Nri was elected by a group of people who observed the man with supernatural power. Eze Nri was cited as a divine ruler. The religious and political power of Nri was called Ikenga.

Economy and Currency:
The kingdom of Nri had good economy until 16th century. Unlike other African countries, Nri didn’t have slave trading, therefore, Nri was said to be the heaven place for escaped slaves. Nri also had great connection of trading, either internal, or external. Nri also gained wealth by hunting and agriculture.

The Nri kingdom had its own currency Manilla, Manillas are armlets made from bronze, copper or gold, and even developed their own system of banking and savings called Isusu which is still very much in practice today. Their economy was good primarily due to trades, agriculture and they were also great hunters. Nri and its territories were international markets for palm oil trade. They were also highly skilled in arts particularly famous for their bronze works. Some of the many discovered works in Igbo-Ukwu, Anambra state, is dated to as far back as the 9th century. These discoveries are a reminder of a Middle ages civilization.

Roles In Slave Trade:
Nri didn’t have slave trading, therefore, Nri was said to be the heaven place for escaped slaves. Nri also had great connection of trading, either internal, or external. Nri also gained wealth by hunting and agriculture.

Culture and Religion:
The kingdom of Nri had many great cultural points. For arts, Nri were famous with their bronze. Bronze sculpting by Nri often used natural aspects as the template. Different from others, Nri bronze sculpting focused on the natural details and didn’t add extra details. Bronze in the sculpture by Nri also purer than other neighbor kingdoms arts sculpture, such as Ife and Benin. For religion, Nri people believed the world was formed by Chineke (the creator). Nri oral tradition also indicate that fertility came from the ruler blessing. Nri also had interesting traditions, such as scarification. A selected man will get a wave-liked scar on his forehead. This tradition came from the Nri myth.

Nri used oath to expand itself. The most interesting and successful point of Nri kingdom was it didn’t use military force. Nri was the real peace kingdom with a great administration. The king sent converts to other settlements to expand the kingdom. But in the 19th century, British troops invaded the kingdom and force them to resign their Ikenga or the ritual and political power. But it ‘kingdom’ still exists in Nigeria country.

The resources for this article of Nri kingdom is vague because time makes evidences to be lost. Luckily, some evidence, such as bronze arts still can be discovered. Oral tradition comes into play as a role of Kingdom of Nri evidence. The history organizations don’t emphasize the kingdom much.

The Kingdom of Nri was very peaceful with a no permanent organized fighting force. Its philosophy was peace, wisdom, justice, harmony and one with creation. Its pacification has its roots in the Nri religious belief that violence was an abomination that polluted the earth. Unlike most kingdoms of the 12th to 18th century and earlier, slavery was frowned upon, and it was a kingdom where all people were welcomed including outcasts from other communities and were a haven for runaway slaves. The Nri kingdom perfected and employed innovative skills in rituals, economy, diplomacy, administration, and management of a segmented and autonomous people.

Ìkénga (Facial Scarification):
While the eze Nri lived relatively isolated from his followers, he employed a group of officials called Ndi Nri.These were ritual specialists, easily identifiable by facial scarifications or ichi, who traveled with ritual staffs of peace in order to purify the earth from human crimes. The ndi Nri exercised authority over wide areas of Igboland and had the power to install the next eze Nri.

Odinani Nri:
Areas under Nri influence, called Odinani Nri, were open to Ndi Nri traveling within them to perform rituals and ensure bountiful harvest or restore harmony in local affairs. Local men within the odinani Nri could represent the eze Nri and share his moral authority by purchasing a series of ranked titles called Ozo and Nze. Men with these titles were known as mbùríchi and became an extension of the Nri's religio-political system. They controlled the means for agriculture and determined guilt or innocence in disputes.

Both the Ndi Nri priests and mbùríchi nobility belonged to the Ikénga, the right hand. The Ìkénga god was one dedicated to achievement and power, both of which were associated with the right hand.

Igu-Aro is an annual Nri festival during which Eze Nri declares the new year and calls out the Nri calender to his subjects. Eze Nri Bụife (AD 1159 – 1259) was the first Eze Nri to observe the Ịgụ-Arọ Festival as a pan – Igbo affair in 1160AD.

The Nri calendar consists of 13 Lunar months.

1. Onwa Mbu: begins from the annually from the 3rd week of February.

2. Onwa Abua: from March to April, this period normally is the period of tilling lands and cultivation or farming,

3. Onwa Ife Eke: from April to May, this is usually known as “Ugani” in Igbo meaning hunger period.

4. Onwa Ana: from May to June, this is the period in which yam seeds are planted.

5. Onwa Agwu: from June to July, known in Igbo as “Igochi na Mmanwu” meaning masquerades.

6. Onwa Ifejioku: from July to August, Ifejioku means yam Ritual.

7. Onwa Alom Chi: from August to early September, this means yam harvest for “Alusi” only. Alusi is an Igbo deity.

8. Onwa Ilo Mmuo: September ending, this is the period of “Onwa Asato” festival, Onwa Asato means the Eighth month.

9. Onwa Ana: October.

10. Onwa Okike: early November, Okike ritual usually takes place,

11. Onwa Ajana: November ending another Okike ritual takes place.

12. Onwa Ede Ajana: from November ending through early December.

13. Onwa Uzo Alusi: early January to early February, offering to the Alusi deity.

During the Igu Aro festival Eze Nri also distributes yam seeds to the people. He usually prophesies to the people that after some days which usually does not exceed ”Izu Ano”(four weeks) they will experience the first rainfall, and after that, they can go ahead and plant their seeds.

Leadership Style:
The Eze Nri Leadership style is unique in that it does not employ military might in other to exert its authority. Rather it used its religious influence and control of trade routes to expand and maintain control of power. The philosophy of the kingdom is peace, harmony, and oneness of all creation with the creator “Chukwu Okike.” Nri became a haven for runaway slaves. Slaves that found their way to the kingdom were freed. Outcasts from other communities were welcomed, they were called “Osu” and everyone irrespective of status was treated equally, although the Osu were not allowed to eat with the freeborn locals. This earned it many admirers and converts. The kingdom gained allegiance and expansion not by force rather through conversion and ritual oath swearing. A palm frond called “Omu” often associated with restraint is an essential Nri religious symbol and used in many religious and ritual processes.

The Eze Nri who mostly lives in seclusion from his people has priests that assist him. Ritual priests under the employ of the Eze Nri are called Ndi Nri and are easily identifiable by their facial scarifications.

This quickly identifies them as a representative of Eze Nri who represents peace harmony, justice, and divine powers especially during their travels. They usually travel with a ritual staff of peace in their quest of winning converts or carrying out their duties. They have the authority of the Eze Nri over lands that are under its influence called Odinani Nri. These priests have the power to cleanse the lands of taboos, restore peace and harmony to the lands and conduct rituals. Honourable men that live within the Odinani Nri territories can also share some of Eze Nri’s responsibilities by becoming Ozo. Men with these titles are collectively called “Mburuichi.” The Mburuich nobles and Ndi Nri priests are part of the “Ikenga”.

Ikenga is a power circle in the Nri kingdom headed by Eze Nri. Ikenga is often regarded within the Igbo community as the god of achievement and power and is associated with the right hand.

The Eze Nri possesses divine authority and managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Nri people. He had the powers to undo evil and cleanse the lands from abominations and taboos.

The Eze Nri confers honourable titles on his people like Ichi, Ogbuevi, Ivijioku, Ekwu, Amanwulu and the highest being the “Nze Na Ozo” title. This title is highly spiritual, to be an Ozo means the bearer is Nze, and to be Nze means to become the living spirit of the ancestors. Nze, therefore, is the moral conscience of the society and is seen as a fair arbitrator in cases of conflicts within the territory. Title holders were respected and honoured because of their accomplishments, but they were not feared or revered.

There was the “Umunna” meaning sons of the father; this is a patrilineal group of closely related males of a particular ancestry headed by the eldest man. This structure is the backbone of the Nri society and indeed all Igbo communities.

In as much as the Nri kingdom was a peaceful territory, they had a series of rules or things that were considered taboos. They were mainly in seven categories: human, animal, behavioural, speech, temporal, place and object. For example, giving birth to twins was a taboo and falls under the human type. Killing or eating of pythons was forbidden and was a taboo if it happened and this falls under the animal category, etc. Rules like these were how the kingdom exercised authority over all of the Igbo lands. Igbos scattered all over the world under different authorities or leaderships had a sense of duty to abide and obey the Eze Nri doctrines and guidelines.

The Nri people like all Igbos are highly ingenious and invented their own way of almost everything including time. The Nri priests were knowledgeable in the movement of heavenly bodies which enabled them to calculate the lunar months accurately. In fact, according to a British government anthropologist Northcorte Thomas in 1910, he reported getting the Nri names for Orion, great Bear and other stars which aided the priests in calculating intervals between each lunar period and also in finding directions during long travels.

In the Igbo calendar, a week had four days; a month consisted of seven weeks and 13 months made a year, a day is added to the last month of each year. This calendar is still used presently and is what Igbo people in villages use especially in determining market days; Eke, Afor, Nkwo, and Oye.

How Nri Kingdom Achieved Ample Expansion:
Expansion of the kingdom of Nri was achieved by sending mbùríchi, or converts, to other settlements. Allegiance to the eze Nri was obtained not by military force but through ritual oath. Religious authority was vested in the local king, and ties were maintained by traveling mbùríchi. By the late 16th century, Nri influence extended well beyond the nuclear northern Igbo region to Igbo settlements on the west bank of the Niger and communities affected by the Benin Empire. There is strong evidence to indicate Igbo influence well beyond the Igbo region to Benin and Southern Igala areas like Idah before the arrival of the Nri. At its height, the kingdom of Nri had influence in over roughly a fourth of Igboland and beyond.

Nri's influence in much of northwestern and western Igboland lasted from the reigns of the fourth eze Nri to that of the ninth. After that, patterns of conflict emerged that existed from the tenth to the fourteenth reigns, which probably reflected the monetary importance of the slave trade. Outside-world influence was not going to be halted by native religious doctrine in the face of the slave trade's economic opportunities. Nri influence declined after the start of the 18th century. Still, it survived in a much-reduced, and weakened form until 1911, when an expedition carried out by British colonial troops forced the reigning eze Nri to renounce the ritual power of the religion known as the ìkénga, ending the kingdom of Nri as a political power.

Fall Of Nri Kingdom:
British colonialism and the advent of missionaries were the primary cause of the decline of the Kingdom. The missionaries through their teachings and western education injected European ideology into the Igbo society. Christianity was first rejected by the Igbos, but many locals later converted to Christianity. Once Christians, they were prevented in participating in the rituals usually associated with the kingdom, as Christianity grew stronger and traditional society broke down. Certain cultural practices began to be erased and more of British culture integrated into the culture of the Nri people.

In most Igbo lands the British introduced a foreign Eze concept. Warrant chiefs were introduced as Eze to enable the British to have centralized control of the people. Warrant chiefs were African representative installed by the British and given political duties to assist the British with indirect rule. British officials carried a higher salary and required more pampering.

The British and other European states had a very frosty relationship with the kingdom mostly because of their highly spiritual nature and staunch stance against slavery. Many slaves who mainly were kidnapped by the Aro confederacy in the bight of Biafra or Igbo lands have been referred to by British slavers as very rebellious and having a high rate of suicides and escape attempts to escape slavery.

Repeated attempts were made by the British to control the kingdom which was resisted for decades.

In 1911 the British troops finally got the 15th Eze-Nri Obalike deposed, the Eze Nri renounced his ritual power and left the kingdom, some historians say the British achieved this by threatening to destroy Nri and all of its people unless Eze Nri complied. To prevent genocide, the Eze Nri left. Although another Eze Nri was later crowned, the kingdoms influence and traditions have never remained the same.

Nri Kingdom King List:
Eri 948-1041
Eze Nri Ifikuanim 1043-1089
Eze Nri Namoke 1090-1158
Eze Nri Buife 1159-1259
Eze Nri Omalo 1260-1299
Eze Nri Jiofo 1 1300-1390
Eze Nri Omalonyeso 1391-1464
Eze Nri Anyamata 1465-1511
Eze Nri Fenenu 1512-1582
Eze Nri Agu 1583-1676
Eze Nri Apia and Alike 1677-1700(both died the same day)
Eze Nri Ezimilo 1701-1723(Assasinated)
Eze Nri Enwenetem 1724-1794
Eze Nri Enweleana 1795-1886
Eze Nri Obalike 1889-1936(Deposed by the British)
Eze Nri jiofor II Taabansi Udene 1937-1987
Eze Nri Enweleana II Obidiegwu Onyeso(MFR) 1988-present.